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Can We Protect From Caries By Filling The Areas That Are Prone To Caries?

No. It is not possible to tear off a healthy organ just because it will rot. Let us remind you again that the most effective measure in tooth protection will be taken by brushing the teeth.

How Is Filling Made?

Most of the filling materials used today only adhere to the tooth, not stick. For this reason, dentists take some conservative measures when filling. These measures are made possible by the preparation of special holding cavities. As a main rule when filling, a good cavity is prepared; and to the tooth  With the filling to be made, it is tried to be given its natural form before it rots.

Which Fillers to Choose?

When choosing the filling material, dentists should be able to withstand the chewing pressure of the posterior teeth; to be as unnoticeable as possible on the front teeth; they take into account that it does not harm the tooth and the pulp. Now we would like to tell you about several types of fillers:

  • Amalgam Fillings (Metal Fillings)
    It is a very durable and economical filler; but its appearance is not aesthetic. It is prepared by mixing a powder consisting of 70% silver, 23% tin, a small amount of copper and zinc with mercury. The mixture is piled into the cavity prepared by the dentist and the filling hardens in a few hours. Especially  It is the best filling material used today for molars. 

  • Porcelain Cements, Composites
    They are aesthetic fillers (bonding); but they are not as resistant as amalgam. They are most commonly used on anterior teeth. 

  • inlays
    Inlays are castings, fillings. After measuring the shaped cavity (cavity) for the filling, it is prepared from gold or porcelain in the laboratory and adhered to the tooth. They require special technique and very precise work.


What is amalgam? 

Amalgam fillings are also known as silver fillings. amalgam; It is obtained by mixing silver, tin and copper alloy with mercury. Mercury, which makes up 45-50% of the mixture, binds metals together and creates a durable filling material. Amalgam fillings, which have been developed and used for 150 years, have served to protect many teeth and keep them in the mouth. 

Is mercury in amalgam harmful? 

The mercury in amalgam fillings is not toxic. When mercury combines with other metals, its chemical structure changes and becomes harmless. The amount of mercury released in the mouth as a result of chewing and grinding is much smaller than the amount taken in water, air and food. All scientific research has concluded that mercury is harmless. Although it is claimed that some diseases thought to be caused by mercury are cured when amalgams are removed, they have not been scientifically proven.

Why do dentists prefer amalgam? 

Amalgam is still the most harmless, longest lasting and least expensive filler. It has been calculated that more than one billion amalgam fillings are made annually. They can be applied in a much shorter time and easily compared to other fillers. Filling materials such as porcelain, gold and white fillings are both more expensive and require more time and attention. Also, other than gold, they are not as long-lasting as amalgam. Amalgam should only be used in those with a definite allergy to mercury, which is less than one percent likely. Amalgam fillings should not be removed when not needed. Because it both brings unnecessary costs and increases the possibility of damaging the tooth. 

Warnings to the patient after amalgam restoration 

Patients should be asked not to use the side where the application is made for at least one hour and not to chew hard things in that area by being careful within the following 24 hours. The patient should be given a second appointment for polishing after 24 hours. It will provide the opportunity to review the anatomical and functional restoration after use. 
After amalgam fillings, there may be a short-term hot-cold sensitivity and this disappears over time. However, although rare, some people may have sensitivities arising from electricity when various metals are present in the mouth or when another metal such as a fork enters. Replacing it with a non-metal restorative may be the solution. 

How are composite fillings made? 

Composite fillings are placed in the prepared cavities layer by layer and each layer is cured with a special light. When this process is finished, composite fillings are shaped and corrected according to the tooth. All these processes take longer than amalgam fillings. But it is at least twice as expensive as amalgam. The duration of the composite fillings in the mouth is 7-10 years, which is close to the life of amalgam. However, in very large fillings, the situation is in favor of amalgam. 

Advantages and disadvantages of composite resins: 

The biggest advantage of these fillings is that they are aesthetic. In addition, since these fillings are well bonded to the teeth, they support the dental tissues, prevent breakage and heat transfer. Composites can be used not only to restore caries, but also for cosmetic effects by changing the color and shape of teeth. The most important disadvantage is post-process sensitivities. The colors of the fillings can also change slightly with coloring foods such as coffee and tea.


Warnings to patients after composite restorations 

Polishing can now be done in the same session on composites. However, in very large restorations or serial restorations made for multiple teeth, it will be much better to call the patient for a check-up once again and make the necessary corrections, if any, both in terms of aesthetics and function.
With these materials, very large losses in the anterior teeth can be restored, therefore it should be explained that being careful in biting will prolong the life of these restorations. More attention should be paid to teeth restored with toothpaste.

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